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  #41  
Old 04-27-2013, 05:19 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Obligations are definitely something to consider. Not just with children (who are obligations generally shared with a partner, and as a result can lead to spending more time with a partner than another) but also parents or other family members who might be sick, or a very demanding job, etc. These can mean you're less available.

I think it's fine to have obligations and doesn't make you "undateable" whether you're single or not. But you need to be pretty clear about what the obligations are from the get go, and to understand that some people might struggle with it, or need more intimacy during the time that you do have time for them.
I think as long as you communicate and try to see things from each other's point of view, things should be fine. An advantage of polyamory is that is you are very busy and cannot see a partner often, you can still have quality time with them when you're available, and when you aren't they might have other partners around. If they're mono or only have you as a partner at the moment, they might feel neglected.

I think obligations can still be perks: children require responsibility and work, BUT generally they also provide joy. Same with other friends or family members, they presumably provided something in your life as well and you're doing your share of giving back. And a job might be demanding, but it feeds you and keeps you healthy.
BUT generally, despite the fact that they usually have perks attached, obligations are still easier to understand, and don't make you an asshole by default.

What I mean is that if you don't take care of your children, or of a dependent adult, they might very well die. If you don't work hard at your job, you'll get fired, lose your source of income and starve. There are real consequences that can lead up to, in the most extreme cases, actual death.
In contrast, if someone says "we are married, therefore in any argument, we will side with each other", they might justify it as "protecting their marriage" and imagine horrible consequences to one day siding with their girlfriend or boyfriend, but really, the worse that would happen is an argument where people actually speak their mind. And that's not on the same level as abandoning your children or letting everyone down at a job that depends on you.

So when people have obligations, it's definitely important to take care of them. On the other hand, it's good to keep in mind that your girlfriend, for instance, is not responsible for the fact that you have children, nor does she get the same benefits from them as you do, unless she's already a primary. Maybe she would want her own children with you and it's impossible. So this can still be a privilege you had, to have children with that first partner because it's socially acceptable, when the second partner doesn't have the same option. Sometimes even if the married couple has no children and they want some, and there is a girlfriend who also wants some, it seems to go without saying that the wife can get pregnant but the girlfriend isn't allowed to, ever, even after years together.
It's good to look at it and keep in mind that it could be about privilege.

People might say "if I have a child with my girlfriend and people realise we're poly, the kids might be taken away from us". Yes, it's true. And that's still privilege. A mono couple has the privilege of not getting their kids taken away. As I said, a privilege sometimes really is something that everyone should get to enjoy.
If you refuse to be out because you don't want your kids taken away from you, it's absolutely a reasonable decision. BUT it still means that your non-official partner has to hide so that you can keep your privilege. And that doesn't make you a bad person, but it sucks, and it's good to at least know and understand that.

I think people usually understand that the whole issue with "privilege" isn't about the person who have it, but the whole of society treating some people as second-class citizens. I think one big deal is to acknowledge that your partner is being treated as a second-class citizen, because you hide them, because you're afraid of also being treated as a second class citizen if you didn't hide them.
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  #42  
Old 04-27-2013, 05:47 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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It seems that the idea of couple privilege is being married to the idea of bad behaviour, but to unify the two as though they belong together doesn't jive with me.
OK... This is going to look like I'm trying to distract from the real topic, but I have reasons why I'm focusing on this: what do you mean "is being" married...etc. I'm specifically asking about the "is being" part, I understand the use of the word "married" in this context is not referring to the "married couple". But when you use "is being" it's kind of removed and wishy-washy like when someone says "the gun went off and someone got shot". Please qualify this "is being". Who specifically, is doing this? "people" on this forum? Which people? In what context? I believe there is enough "evidence", anecdotal and circumstantial, to support a valid argument from either side of the issue. Therefore, if your intention is to persuade others (and I have to assume that the purpose of this thread is not simply for self-reflection, but for the exchange of different points of view), then you need to set up the premise of your argument with clearly defined parameters.


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So when did people start associating one with the other? And how does couple privilege go from a recognition to an inflammatory term?
Again - what "people"? All people? Some people? Some of the people all of the time? All of the people some of the time? These are not trick questions. But, of course, you don't have to do this MY way...


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I think the 'holier than thou' attitude has got to be removed to prevent alienation within the poly community.
There is no "the" poly community. Please define the subset. Please define what "community" means in this context. The people who live in my zip code are a sort of "community", but we don't have a section of town where all the poly people have their own zip code. The "online poly community"? There could be more than one "poly community" on the internet, and there are people who would argue that there is no such thing. The "community" that is sometimes perceived to be this forum? Craigs List? OK Cupid?

Once the parameters are established, perhaps it will be possible to have a coherent, productive discussion about this. This is not meant to be a critique on your writing style (well, it would be if you were writing a research paper), or the merit of the ideas contained therein.



OTOH, if it's just about stream-of-consciousness writing, then I can deal with that and just skim over those posts.
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  #43  
Old 04-27-2013, 06:49 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
If you refuse to be out because you don't want your kids taken away from you, it's absolutely a reasonable decision. BUT it still means that your non-official partner has to hide so that you can keep your privilege. And that doesn't make you a bad person, but it sucks, and it's good to at least know and understand that.
Yes. The question I've been wrestling with is whether I can live with possibly being the source or agent or conduit or occasion of suckage for another person. For my own part, I don't know if I can live with this.

At the very least, though, awareness of the likelihood of suckage should serve to keep those of us who are married and poly humble and mindful.

The ones to look out for -the "jerks" in BP's terminology - are the ones who aren't even aware of the possibility that getting what they waaaant may put another person in a situation that basically sucks.
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  #44  
Old 04-27-2013, 06:56 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Originally Posted by BaggagePatrol View Post
So date without shame! And share your love - just because it can't be 'equal' doesn't mean that you're not going to bring your same, amazing qualities that make you who you are to another person in a meaningful way. Be honest about what you have to offer, and let others decide if it's right for them.
Yes, but honesty is the hard part because I have to be honest with myself, first, about what I really have to offer and what I may reasonably expect.

Letting others decide for themselves is the key, of course, but I shouldn't be surprised or outraged or hurt or offended if no one chooses to accept what I have to offer.

Last edited by hyperskeptic; 04-27-2013 at 07:01 PM.
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  #45  
Old 04-27-2013, 10:16 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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We have been discussing this at length in the FB group I admin. For me it has come down to practicalities and how to move on knowing that I and others are privileged. In a sense I prefer to move away from the word and look at what to do with that knowledge.

When a couple goes out to find suitable partners I think that its important to have the discussion of how to create a balance; a win win situation for all. Couples should realize that they are entering into a relationship dynamic with privileges and do everything in their power to even that up so everyone wins.

In some cases hierarchies exist that work. At least they "look" like hierarchies from the outside but on the inside they are a creation of primary secondary that works for all. The secondary, knowing that the couple would usually have privilege, has just as much privilege as the couple because they are all in agreement within their arrangement. This concept flies in the face of what we usually want to believe about couples and their privilege. Is it really couple privilege if everyone in the dynamic is getting their needs met and has that privilege of being happy with their dynamic? Just because on the outside it looks different to others?

I think that some, if not most couples come into poly knowing they are privileged and wanting to work with others to make sure that is in check. Its an obvious I think. At least it becomes so pretty fast and I think that people generally have peoples best interest in mind. Especially when it comes to love and care for someone they are partnered with. If they don't then I would wonder where the love is and whether or not its what has become commonly known as poly.
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  #46  
Old 04-28-2013, 12:31 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
n a sense I prefer to move away from the word and look at what to do with that knowledge.

When a couple goes out to find suitable partners
I like the "action-oriented" approach you suggest. It reminds me of something I used to suggest to people on a forum I used to moderate. there were some people who would complain that certain users had more "privilege" than others, in terms of the content of their posts, and when I'd ask them what they suggest be done about it, they would be all "Gee I'm not sure". To me, it seemed like just another way of trying to discredit someone via an ad-hominem method, when you can't really find anything wrong with their argument other than the fact that it doesn't align with your own.

To that end, one thing people can "do", which is often suggested in conjunction with advice given to "unicorn hunters" is to not date as a couple. Date separately, then take it from there. This is so often suggested on this site and elsewhere and is so often answered with, "but we agreed this is something we want to do TOGETHER. We are one person romantically, etc. etc." and on and on with a litany about how they THOUGHT about this for a LONG TIME and they KNOW this is what they want, we are all so unique, so special, we are the all-singing, all-dancing crap-of-the-world (that's from Fight Club, not from the fabulous Yours Truly™ this time)...

Is it REALLY that mysterious where the bizarre notion of "couple privilege" comes from? It shouldn't be, now that it's been spelled out for everyone yet again. Except this time I gave a suggestion, albeit not a new or original one, about something that can be DONE, I actually ANSWERED one of redpepper's questions, instead of trying to create a smokescreen about why her questions don't make sense or are irrelevant.

I invite others to outdo me.
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  #47  
Old 04-28-2013, 09:18 AM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Default Specifics.

BG - you remind me of my ex, who used to always say, "Quantify your statements!" He was very into precise language as well, and I respect that.

The communities that I speak of largely exist online, as that is where I see the greatest amount of resources and writing about poly; discussion forums and online chat groups, blogs and articles. If you google "couple privilege polyamory" you will be met with pages of links, many of which mention 'unicorn hunting' and 'couple privilege' within a hairwidth of each other. I speak from a place of having done a lot of reading, conversing and listening, and I have seen a marked growth in using the term 'couple privilege' in a way that has inherently negavite connotations.

Does this define everyone's poly community - not necessarily. But there's RP saying that people in her facebook group are discussing it, I have seen it in my local chapter for poly meetups, and I've even had it volleyed at me by someone that I was dating.

Does that answer your question? If not, let me know - always happy to explain thoughts/reasoning.
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  #48  
Old 04-28-2013, 10:13 AM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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Default Privileges?

Well, I guess I believe they are just like everything else that unless examined, as Natja mentioned they has somewhere discussed as unexamined (he?She? which is the reason for "they has" instead of "he has" or "she has" sorry Natja I don't recall reading of your gender) as being similar or the same meaning as
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emm
The word privilege, as it's usually used in these conversations, is rarely about the actions of the person observed to hold it but rather about how those around the person (or in this case couple) treat them.

If I were a man in my current job (military), I would have the privilege of knowing that when I walk into a meeting at least 90% of the other attendees will be of the same gender as me (I've been keeping a tally in my diary). When I need to speak to others at a similar level of authority I would have the privilege of knowing that I would be dealing with someone of my own gender. When I start a new job in a new office I would have the privilege of knowing that I will be judged by my actions rather than my appearance. If I were to become angry that my instructions to a subordinate weren't being followed and expressed my displeasure I would have the privilege of knowing that nobody would make jokes about menstrual cycles. When a new item of uniform clothing is issued I would have the privilege of knowing that it was designed to fit my body shape (seriously, I don't know what they measured when designing our old shorts, but it wasn't a human female).

None of that says that a male in my position is in any way lording it over me that he's male and I'm not or that he feels entitled to more respect than I get, but he's starting from a position of comfort that I'll never know. The fact that he has never asked to be treated any differently doesn't reduce the fact that, simply by being a male officer rather than a female officer, he is demonstrably treated differently in countless ways every day.

In the case of couple privilege, it exists whether the people in the couple use it to fuel their sense of entitlement or not. When an outsider assumes that the members of a couple will act a certain way and makes room for that to happen without friction then that's couple privilege in action. By asking people to examine their privilege nobody's saying that they should reject it out of hand or feel guilty about it, just that they should realise that not everyone has the same advantages.
I believe an unexamined privilege if experienced by a person who is likely to cross the lines of abuse or unjust ways of having said privilege, that privilege is a freedom taken for granted. Freedoms that are taken for granted AND being distributed with equity are fastracted to be lost.

For example, no married couple should feel the least bit guilty about having power of attorney in regards to having authority to execute decisions as the couple in the event of sickness or death, married people should feel no guilt about being able to add the those they are committed with to insurance policies, or tax breaks, committed people shouldn't feel guilty about any of the privileges they benefit from which are gained from a high level of commitment called marriage.

But heres the thing, much like Erik Kuehnelt-Leddihn essay written in the 80s, and the excerpt that was edited in 2013 to add the wording just and unjust discrimination (which I think he wrote about on a forum giving us a hint of the edit to come, but I can't find it as he must have deleted it knowing he was using it in a publication for profit elsewhere) the thing is about privilege, you should only feel no shame if you are not engaging in unjust benefits from said privilege.

An example of unjust privilege would be to deny others their privileges for the equal commitments. More clearly defined by the unjust privilege laws that are the agenda of "the defense of marriage act"

To go so far as to actively persue, or worse labor for the injustice to become written into LAW that the privileged be unjustly awarded, you have absolutely have no right whatsoever to those privileges

This is fact, according to the 50 states standards of what constitutes the union of marriage.

Now those who back DOMA won't agree and they are wrong, I can't change that


However, if gay committed couples by their own choice, free from extortions or manipulations declined their benefits, that is not injustice, and married couples could without a doubt benefit from their non-declined privileges without one iota of shame

Exactly in the same manner a unicorn could voluntarily enter any sort of relationship they desire with the a privileged couple, and the unicorn's polyship with THE COUPLE can be as free from shame as Freedom can be imagined, no matter what some other jealous couple attempts to afflict the shameless couple with a content and satisfied hot bi babe.

yes many people have been suffered severe emotional pain due to entering relationships riddled with either misunderstandings or ignorance, but it doesn't mean that others can't do it shamelessly and justly

In the manner exactly the same as a bigoted married couple could also be shameless if each and every gay married couple freely chose to decline their privileges

bigots who would seek to benefit from privileges they exclude from qualifying married people will also be excluded from the benefits of marriage as that is being an agent of injustice

poly people who afflict perfectly knowledgeable unicorns and couples who desire exactly the polyship they have are no different from the bigot.

There is a difference between looking out for a friend's best interest, and afflicting or sabotaging a relationship due to jealousy. Become an advocate for singles rights, but to infringe upon anothers rights is to ultimately forfeit your own.
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  #49  
Old 04-28-2013, 11:36 AM
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Natja Natja is offline
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I am a woman.

I think the link between privilege and Unicorn Hunters is because one more often sees CP at work amongst the same folks. How many times have we seen couples talk about offering up equality only to see that when the going gets tough, said Unicorn is recast as an evil disruptive element who dared to ask for more than what the couple are willing to offer?

Not every couple who abuses their privilege would be UH's, not all UH's abuse their privilege, but there is enough links between the two to make it a valid point to bring up.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:45 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Does that answer your question? If not, let me know - always happy to explain thoughts/reasoning.
That answers the questions I asked before, but now I'm confused about something else. Is "couple privilege" a thing, or not? Are you taking the stance that it does exist and we must work to eradicate it, or that it does not exist and we must work to eradicate the perception of it?
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